Home was a piece of scorched debris, yellow police tape surrounding it. Mortal police paraded the small lot, and Percy and Amanda watched from afar at the Chaos.
"This your home?" Percy asked, looking over at her. It wasn't really a question. She wanted to go home, and this was probably what was left of it.
She nodded silently, her restless brown eyes trained on the destroyed piece of land. She said nothing else, and didn't even try getting out of the car, and she stared at it longingly. "What happened?" Percy asked, daring to gather her attention from her destroyed home.
"My-my father. He wanted to get rid of me and my s-sister." She whispered, a haunted look in her eyes as she recounted the story.
"I'm his daughter, and he wanted me dead. My sister was adopted. No relation to him, but he wanted her dead." She continued, tears threatening to burst from her eyes. "He wanted my mother dead. He wanted us all dead. He destroyed my home so there would be nothing-left- I'm-supposed-to-be-dead." A tear slipped down her cheek before she finished the last sentence, shaking violently. Percy listened, not interrupting, but was prepared to since it seemed to be becoming too much.
"How did the traffickers get ahold of you?" Percy asked her. He put the truck in drive and began driving down the road, away from the destroyed lot. The farther away from her old home, the calmer she got.
She finally answered, twenty minutes or so later. "I woke up in the same room as the others. I was... I was scared." She said, looking out the window, her eyes closed as if she was remembering that very moment. "I didn't like how they were looking at me or the other girls. We were in one plain box being fed these weird type of... crackers, I guess for weeks at least. Then I went to sleep, and woke up in your trunk because of a loud noise."
Amanda spoke with a shaky voice, and Percy knew she sounded off, like there was something she wasn't telling him.
"So tell me, how long did you think you could keep this lie going?" Percy said, not taking his eyes off the road. Amanda looked at him, shocked.
"My brain works differently than yours so it doesn't produce the chemicals that would make me give two fücks about a person who is faking it. So you have a chance to spill it or you'll be Hephaestus' next 'experiment'." Percy said, still driving.
Percy was not going to do anything of the sort, and it's not like Hephaestus was going around turning people into machines. He said it to scare her, and scare her he did. Ah, the most powerful ability he has. Bluffing. Thankfully, she didn't call him on it.
"Eveything I said was true!" Amanda defended herself. "Hmm. Hephaestus did say he had some new projects he wanted to try out. But they could be defective on me but for someone smaller they should work... you'd love them, they're shiny, powerful, and there's a switch in them that could detonate at a simple push of a button. Then there's the fact that you'll have to get them reattached every other year so that's reattaching the nerves which, if you haven't gathered, hurt like hell. And that's only if you survive the first operation- oh, hey, you don't mind your body parts being used to feed Hephaestus' machinery when you die right? They have quite the appetite." Percy said, continuing.
Sometimes he got caught up in the bluff, but his words seemed to do the trick, as she hurriedly began talking. "The traffickers told me that Perses had given me directly to them and that I was supposed to help capture other demigods. They had me destroy stuff and, I don't know, they used to treat me a little different than the others, even giving me regular food, and they... They told me about you. They said that you were some type of monster created by-" she took a look at Percy's giant metal arm as he stopped the car to untangle the wires im his arm and shivered "-the gods and that you could d-destroy me. Th-they said lead you to my home and they would get the titan of time to bring my family back."
"And when did they tell you all of this? Did they expect me to steal the truck?" Percy asked.
"N-no. This was all supposed to be a week from now, but you caught them off guard. We were meant to be found in a more... inpleasant situation, one that even you would let 'emotion cloud your judgement'." Amanda said, putting air quotation marks around the last four words.
"Okay. But you knew that this was about to happen a week from now. You knew that they weren't going to be there to ambush me or whatever they had planned to do. So why did you still want to go home?" Percy asked. He had turned around again, heading to where he knew Artemis and her hunt was located.
He wouldn't be related to Zeus if he didn't even acknowledge the red flags that this girl pulled. She can destroy stuff, which could equal her to have demolishing powers which could be devastating if she was working against them. He could not block out the possibility.
"They said that as soon as I agreed that they would bring them back to life, but if I backed out or was unsuccessful they'd take them back. I should've known that they would-- I'm such an idiot." She mumbled to mostly herself.
Thankfully, Percy didn't have to endure any more of this girl talking and arrived at the camp.
Surprisingly, Artemis was all for killing her. "She's one girl who's put countless other girls in the hands of those fiends!"
Percy came to her rescue. "Milady, she could still be useful. She can provide information since the traffickers seemed to trust her a little more. Also, tell her about those 'crackers' they made the others eat but didn't make you eat. You used your powers frequently, you ever seen them use theirs'?" Percy asked.
"Not since the first night they were there which was to figure out who their parents were. I-I hadn't even thought about that." "Hmm. I must admit that is interesting. We will see if she has anymore information. But she is not or ever will be welcomed as a hunter. Onto other matters. The traffickers made a catch, and evidently, it's very valuable." Artemis informed him as Thalia took Amanda away.
"I hear you loud and clear Milady." Percy said, nodding his head. "Clockwork, I haven't said this enough, but thank you for your service. I know having to work for days non-stop must be tiresome."
"Nonsense. Tell me where and I will be back before dawn."
The place Artemis had told him to go was in Hell's Kitchen, and Percy was in front of an apartment building. Funny, Artemis never mentioned an apartment building...
Percy drove the truck around the block, and saw a single-floored house, right behind the apartment building. Oh thank the gods he didn't have to pretend to be the pizza delivery boy to find out which apartment had the demigods he was looking for.
He parked in front of the apartment building, making a mental note to return the poor guy's truck, he of which he hadn't even learned his name. To get to the building there was nothing to hide behind so Percy would be wide out in the open if he decided just stepped out into the yard and pranced over there. Percy looked up at the bright mid-afternoon sun.
Milady, are you too busy to do me a small favor to make this job go a *little* bit quicker?
*** (Yes, the first caterpillar brought a friend)
Percy smirked slightly under his helmet as the eclipse took place. This probably confused half of the population but it gave him enough cover to make it to the nearest window undetected.
He opened it as quietly as he could, but the stench of rotting meat hit him, so hard that he had to turn off his sense of smell to keep going. He stepped in and he saw what was unmistakably dead bodies and a woman amidst of it all.
"I didn't try to! I swear on the Styx I didn't!" She said, holding her hands up in defense. As the thunder sounded and she remained unharmed, Percy looked at the dead bodies and said what anyone in his position would say.
"Just get in the truck, we'll talk about this when I can breathe again." He said, done with the day.
And that's the end of this part. What'd ya think?
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Percy Jackson is betrayed before he's downright murdered. His body is left in the forest for the monsters, but a certain god finds him, and then his body is never seen again. And now a legend is spreading among the newer campers, a legend of Hephae...